Aug 11, 2013

A Good Day

First of all, I wanted to thank you for the very kind comments, tweets and e-mails I’ve received over the past couple of days. They’ve helped me more than you can probably imagine. Sometimes all you can do is gather support, hope that the bad stuff is behind you for good, and then wait for some time to pass, so that it all feels less immediate and so your peace of mind can return. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself if at all possible. This is just what I did yesterday, when I grabbed my partner and a friend and we all went to lovely Ely for a bike ride in the Fens, tea and scones, and some book browsing at a great independent bookshop.

Most of you probably don’t realise the real significance of the words “a bike ride in the Fens” coming out of my mouth. To explain what an achievement this is for me I’d have to tell you that when I moved here almost a year ago I didn’t know how to ride a bike at all, and that until yesterday I hadn’t spent more than ten consecutive minutes cycling, and probably only about an hour total. The quiet paths around Ely were perfect for practising, though, and in the end I managed to do a little over 6kms with only one minor fall (this is progress, especially when you consider that the day I got my bike I rode it into a tree).

Picture time:



Ely Cathedral






Li'l Sebastian! (We didn’t break into song upon seeing this pony or anything. No sir.)


Here I go.


Wheee!





This was a triumph.










The Great Ouse






Coffee float = the best thing ever.




Books make us happy.


I got this solely based on the fact that it looks like a comfort book. Dodie Smith! Kittens! Can’t go wrong with that, right?


My acquisitions. In addition to the Dodie Smith, I got Cheryl Strayed’s Wild because obviously, and a pretty edition of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers.

28 comments:

  1. This looks like a great day :) And no you can't go wrong with Dodie Smith or with The Borrowers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry I didn't comment on the other post. I'm so happy you're a bit better and I know exactly what you mean about the bike ride. Now that I can ride, I'm learning to drive, which is another one of those things a lot of people around me seem to have learned ages ago and I'm all alone to climb this enormous mountain.
    I've never heard of this particular Dodie Smith and I look forward to your thoughts. Have you read her autobiography? Look Back With Love was reprinted by Slightly Foxed recently and it's beautiful. I could send you my copy if you want to read it.
    Happy Sunday, Ana. I think of you often :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I were having a bad day, all I would have to do is pull up these pictures and I'd feel better. What a gorgeous, scenic countryside! This is exactly what you need to help you mend your heart. Just know that you are loved out here and we are here for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ely is lovely - I lived in Cambridge for 5 years, and Ely was a wonderful little day-trip on the train. You bring back some lovely memories.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh I'm so happy you had such a good day. I'm hoping this means a positive upswing for you that doesn't stop climbing. And good for you on your bike skills.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This post...just, yeah, so happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That sounds like the perfect day to me!! Beautiful pictures :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Wild! I can't wait to pick that up.

    And I'm so glad you had such a lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It sounds like your outing did you good! I hope things are uphill from here on out!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks like an awesome day! And congrats on the bike ride. You're very brave. I used to bike to work all the time, but haven't used a bike in years and now I'm scared to get back on!

    Lovely pics, thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. You managed to go cycling! And 6km is a triumph! Well done :-) And I'm glad to hear you got to have a good day. Plus, you know, books! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  12. The photos are fantastic, and you learning how to ride a bike made my heart grow ten sizes. :) Congratulations!

    I'm glad you're feeling a little better.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful scenery and the comfort of a good friend and good books, that is a wonderful day. I'm glad to hear you treated yourself to a day like this as it sounds like you've had a rough time lately. Hope many wonderful days are ahead of you Ana. Sending you a virtual hug!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Let's do it again!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ana, it is wonderful to see you bike riding! and enjoying the company of a good friend, and tea, and books. They can be the best consolers, sometimes. I love the scenery, too, and is that the same river Ouse that runs up to York? cause if it is, you and I have lived by the same river, then :-)

    I hope whatever it is that happened, is something that can be dealt with and then put past you, in the best way possible. Hugs again.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a stunningly beautiful place and beautiful pictures! So happy to see you happy in a bookstore. Congratulations on learning how to ride a bike and on going on a long bike ride! That's amazing. I hope things continue to improve, Ana dear.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just re-read Wild over my vacation. It's wonderful, as is her other book "Tiny Beautiful Things." She even e-mailed me right back when I had a question!

    ReplyDelete
  18. You look very sporty on your bike! I recognize that cathedral from a John Constable painting, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Ana, I've been thinking about you. I'm glad you treated yourself to a beautiful day. Gorgeous pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This looks like a lovely day. I'm glad to hear you've been getting lots of support. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats on learning to ride a bike. And what gorgeous country to go for a ride in! I hope things are starting to be better for you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your pictures show why a bike ride could be considered a treat! Glad it made you feel better, and sorry about whatever happened. I was on vacation (yes, again) and will be writing about my absences, I hope, when there's a spare moment.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well done you with your new bicycle skills! And I'm glad you're taking care of yourself and giving yourself a treat. I emphasize again my strong willingness to send you ANY BOOK that your heart desires. Night Film? I could send you Night Film? If you want it. I could. Or a SURPRISE BOOK that you were not expecting. Some surprise book I think of myself?

    (Confession: I have a grudge against Ely because one of the people who talked such trash about Richard III early on was the Bishop of Ely. :p)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks like a lovely day! And go you on the cycling. :) I hope things are looking up for you Ana!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That seriously looks like a perfect day! How have I never read that Dodie Smith boook?!?

    ReplyDelete
  26. How perfectly lovely of an outing - at least from the pictures. Cheers!

    I am most curious what you will think of Wild.

    (oh, and, sorry, I bailed on LT so thank you for being my friend there but we will have to continue on twitter and blogland.)

    ReplyDelete
  27. When I used to tutor reading we compared learning to read to learning to ride a book...once your brain learns how to do it, it's a skill you have that you don't think about how you're doing it. So awesome that you did this!

    I used to bike when I was younger, but haven't had a place to keep a bike for awhile. Lately, I've really been wishing for one again as I think it would be a really nice activity and way to get exercise in. Hopefully soon...my eternal mantra about everything, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Bookgazing: It was, thanks :)

    Ruby Scarlett: No sorry! Thank you so much for the kind words and offer. I've been meaning to read Look Back With Love, especially because it's about growing up in Manchester and I really enjoyed living there. But we have it at my library, so no need to send me your copy (though I can't tell you how much I appreciate the offer!).

    Sandy: Thank you so much <3 You've all been so lovely.

    Vicki: It is indeed! I'm going again next Saturday to see Margaret Atwood speak at the cathedral, which I'm really looking forward to :D

    Beth F: So far so good - keeping my fingers crossed that things continue going back to normal.

    Debi: :)

    JoAnn: I had a great time, and I'm glad you all enjoyed the pictures!

    Clare: I've started it already (of course). Strayed is such an amazing writer.

    Kathy: I hope so too! So far so good.

    Kiirstin: I'm not yet brave enough to bike on the road, but hopefully it's a matter of time.

    Iris: *hugs back* I meant to go again this weekend, but I also needed some time at home. Hopefully I'll get to practice a bit more before the summer is over.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.